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Re: [BKARTS] Britain to return plundered Ethiopian book



The British did that to whole countries ... let alone libraries ... ;(

Suzanne (from Australia which was not terrus nullius)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark Andersson" <bookbinding@xxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2003 9:13 PM
Subject: Britain to return plundered Ethiopian book

I just wanted to say that the tone of this post implied that what the
British did in taking this book was illegal.  It was probably not "stolen"
but was "taken" during a conflict.  World law back then stated that a
conquering army could taken anything they wanted and, after holding it for
24 hours, it was legally theirs.

Whether it was and is immoral is another question, and the law certainly
favored the stronger European nations but they did not "steal" the book in
a literal and legal sense, they "took" it.

Not that the Ethiopians felt any better about losing the book (and no doubt
much other stuff as well) just because it was legal.  And that doesn't mean
it shouldn't be returned............

Mark Andersson
Department Head, Bookbinding
North Bennet Street School
39 N. Bennet Street
Boston, MA 02113
617-227-0155
fax:  617-227-9292

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